Student Achievement in California: Ed Trust—West Statement on 2011 STAR Data

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OAKLAND, CA (August 15, 2011) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement from Executive Director Arun Ramanathan in response to the release of the 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) results by the California Department of Education (CDE) today:

This year’s STAR data demonstrate how far we still have to go in our effort to educate all California students to their fullest potential. Over the last eight years, we have seen slow, incremental growth in the achievement of low-income students and students of color, who now represent the majority in our state’s public schools. The sad truth is that wide achievement gaps still persist between African-American and Latino students and their white peers.

In 2011, less than half of California’s African-American, Latino, and low-income students from grades 2 to 11 scored at or above proficient on the English-language arts California Standards Test (CST), compared with 71 percent of their white peers. Some of the most disheartening results reflect how little we have done to serve the needs of our 1.5 million English-learners: only one out of five scored proficient or advanced on the English-language arts CST. In mathematics, the outcomes for similar groups of students are just as dismal.

Given the minimal growth in student performance during both good and bad fiscal years, it is clear that our state leaders must do more to prioritize the needs of our underserved students, regardless of the budget climate. As tough budget decisions will continue to present themselves, we encourage state leaders to work with a variety of stakeholders to enact the high-impact reforms that will close the persistent achievement gaps that have plagued our education system for far too long.

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 About The Education Trust—West

The Education Trust—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.